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KC Board of Trustees approves fiscal year 2023 budget, new equipment purchases

The Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees met Monday, September 26, 2022, for its regular monthly meeting. Board members included Bill Hawley (Odin), Linda Stover (Centralia), Laura Wedekemper (Shattuc), Louis Kalert (Centralia), and Alyssa Lurkins (Student Trustee). Jeff Brown (Greenville) was absent.

The board unanimously approved the institution’s fiscal year 2023 budget. The college’s financial impact is estimated at $59,750,000. During the board’s budget hearing before the regular meeting, Vice President of Administrative Services Judy Hemker informed the board that the college is fiscally sound and continues to be a good steward of taxpayers’ money. The college has decreased its tax levy for five consecutive years. The institution also has a nine-month operating reserve and expects a similar result as of the end of the fiscal year 2023.

“We feel confident in our finances and the college continues to remain on very solid ground,” said KC President George Evans. “I appreciate the hard work of our CFO Judy Hemker and her team. As higher education continues to evolve post-pandemic, having a strong financial plan and transparent budget is as important as ever.”

The board ratified two new 12-month contracts with Mansfield Power and Gas for natural gas and Homefield Energy for electricity. The previous contracts held by the college are scheduled to expire soon, and the new contracts were brokered by E-Quantum Consulting, LLC of Geneseo, Ill., which has extensive experience in helping higher education institutions procure gas and electricity contracts.

The board approved the purchase of 245 desktop computers from Dell Technologies of Round Rock, Texas, for $158,564 to complete the modernization of technology equipment in the college’s computer labs. New equipment allows increased flexibility in new classroom spaces for remote and hybrid learning, plus standardized hardware to decrease repair and security issues.

With funding utilized from the ICCB College Bridge Program grant, the board approved the purchase of two Snap-on Precision Measuring Instrument Certification kits and one Instructor Verification kit from Snap-on Industrial of Crystal Lake, Ill., for $73,577. Each kit includes instructional equipment, a curriculum, and a storage cabinet. The course content includes tape and rule measurement, slide caliper measurement, gauge measurement, angle measurement, micrometer measurement, and dial gauge measurement. The Snap-on Precision Measuring Instruments Certification enables students to demonstrate a solid understanding of the fundamentals of working with precision measuring instruments. These kits will be used by the KC Automotive Technology program plus the industrial programs located at the Crisp Technology Center.

To continue developing the programs at the Centralia Correctional Center, the board approved two new purchases via the Centralia Correctional Center Education Program’s Career and Technical Education Improvement Grant. The first purchase is of an electric reach truck for the Warehousing program from Bahrns Equipment of Effingham, Ill., for $49,895. The second purchase is for heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) trainers for a new HVAC program from Hampden Engineering Corporation of Longmeadow, Mass., for $43,858. The new HVAC trainers will include an intermediate electricity trainer, a basic refrigeration trainer, and a gas heat trainer.

In personnel matters, the board approved the following new hires and promotions:

  • Christine Wheeler – Director of the Trenton Education Center
  • Eric Howard – Industrial Trades and Manufacturing Programs Coordinator
  • Robert Thompson – Police Officer for the KC Police Force
  • Katy Knolhoff – Nursing Program Success Coach
  • Margo Wagner – Early Childhood Consortium Grant Director
  • Misti Pawlisa – Staff Accountant II

The board also approved restructuring the vacant Dean of Enrollment Services to a new Director of Admissions position. The restructuring reflects fiscally responsible salary savings and reflects other changes in leadership within the Student Services division.

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